This week the City Council put the brakes on a plan that, beginning July 1, would have boosted Beeline bus fares by 25 cents to $1.25.
For years, Glendale bus riders, many of them high school students, paid 25 cents for a one-way ride on the Beeline. But by Oct. 2011, that rate was deemed unsustainable. City officials then found themselves struggling to balance the city's transit fund, which relied on property tax revenues set aside for transit operations. During the prolonged recession, those revenues lagged as operational costs continued their predictable rise. So, the rate rose — first to 75 cents, then to $1. These rate hikes were appropriate and necessary at the time.
But the financial picture has improved: Retirements at City Hall and a series of sales-tax hikes within the county were credited this week for the council's decision to cancel the pending fare hike.
Twenty-five cents extra per ride might not sound like a lot of money, but quarters have a way of rapidly adding up to dollars for those commuting to jobs or classes daily. Holding the line at $1 per ride will help those who need it most save a few dollars a week. We applaud city officials for changing course on this scheduled rate hike.